Lengthy layoff allowed TFC's Ayo Akinola to grow as a player and person
"It definitely matured me on what being a pro is actually like. Before the injury, I probably took a few things for granted," Akinola said.
The last 13 months have been quite the ordeal for Ayo Akinola.
The Toronto FC forward tore his ACL while on duty with the Canadian men's team last July in a game against the United States at the Concacaf Gold Cup, thus ruling him out for the rest of the MLS season. The injury cut short a promising league campaign for the highly-touted youngster before it had the chance to really get started, and the Reds sputtered to a 13th place finish in the Eastern Conference.
No athlete likes to suffer a major injury and be sidelined for any amount of time. But the lengthy layoff allowed Akinola, a 22-year-old from Brampton, Ont., to undergo some valuable introspection, and it changed the way he looked at himself and how he approached things on and off the pitch.